I wanna be a social worker
What sort of person does the job suit?
You should be at least willing to help and to support others. You need to be sympathetic. Those who are attentive, patient, observing and care about other people are more capable of doing the job.
What qualifications do you need?
You need to obtain a diploma or degree that is related to this profession.
What work hours do you keep?
It depends on what organisation you work for. If you work at centres such as elderly homes, you may have a more stable timetable; but if you are an outreach worker, you may have longer working hours. For youth workers, summer is a busy time as there are more activities during the summer holiday.
What is the best way into the industry?
Get voluntary experience in different sectors and find out which type of settings suits you most.
Is there a clear career path?
No, there isn't a clear path for promotion, especially after the reforms in the industry these past few years. The ranking system was demolished and many positions are now contracted out.
What is the best part of your job?
To be able to see the changes in clients. You not only observe how other people grow but you become more mature yourself.
And the worst?
Great pressure, especially when you have high expectations, a huge workload and insufficient time to carry it out. People need time to make lifestyle changes and you can't control the size of the workload you have.
Who is your role model?
I do not have one particular role model at this stage as I believe everybody has their own individual strengths. I prefer to be able to learn from a number of different social workers, as every one of them has developed their own style.
There isn't a fixed amount and it is negotiable, depending on your employer.
Don't expect to be able to earn big money in this industry. Make sure you understand this and bear in mind other reasons for doing this job.